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Scientology and the Clearwater Police


The Relationship Between Scientology and the Clearwater Police

Scientology came to Clearwater under the assumed name of United Churches in 1975. This initial deception was followed by the startling discovery that Scientology's intelligence division, the Guardian's Office (since renamed the Office of Special Affairs) was conducting covert operations against the United States government and actively trying to take over the city of Clearwater.



Mike Rinder and Chief Sid Klein

Operations were mounted to ruin the reputation and political future of Mayor Gabe Cazares and infiltrate the offices of political leaders, community organizations and the press.

The Clearwater police opened an investigation of Scientology. Lt. Ray Emmons was one of the men in charge of this project which was an ongoing investigation until a new city manager, Mike Roberto, decided to accept Scientology into the community. His program, "One City, One Future," changed the entire tenor of how the city interacted with Scientology.

When the Lisa McPherson Trust opened a Clearwater office in January 2000, Scientology made arrangements with the Clearwater Police Department to hire off-duty police officers to sit outside the entrance of Scientology's "Bank Building," which is right down the street from the LMT's back door.  For more than eight hours every day, including Sundays and holidays, a pair of officers stood guard at this location.

Scientology paid the Clearwater police in excess of $175,000 a year.  Many of the officers who work this off-duty assignment do so on a regular basis. 

An agent of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs accompanies these officers at all times. Printed propaganda characterizing the LMT staff as dangerous criminals has been routinely handed to the officers in an effort to turn them against the staff of the LMT. 

There have been several instances where these officers have had to respond to situations involving members of the LMT, and the officers have showed an obvious and alarming bias against them. 

In some of these situations, LMT staff members and associates were assaulted by Scientologists and the police stood by, letting it happen and doing nothing. 

The Police Video
LMT Video Documentary

After several disturbing instances in which the Clearwater Police showed an increasingly disturbing bias against the LMT, we produced a video to document the situation.

Off Duty Assignment Sheet
Clearwater Police Department Document

This is a sample of the form that the Clearwater police officers sign to accept or decline the Scientology duty on Watterson Street.  Of the 262 forms that we reviewed, only two indicate that the officer declined the duty.

Note the description of the assignment and the fact that the police are to report to the head of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs, Mike Rinder.

Police Department Affidavit
February 2, 1995

Captain Paul Maser of the Clearwater Police Department wrote and signed this affidavit which was used in a lawsuit which Police Chief Sid Klein and the Clearwater Police Department brought against Scientology in 1995.  With this affidavit, Chief Klein was attempting to protect the identities of the police detectives who were actively investigating the criminal activities of Scientology.

In this affidavit, the police department acknowledges that it is fully aware of Scientology's policies of harassment, including Fair Game. Yet now that Scientology is using those Fair Game policies against the LMT, the Clearwater police are turning a blind eye to these tactics, in some instances even aiding Scientology in carrying them out. 

When did the Clearwater police force change its attitude towards Scientology, and what were the reasons for this shift?

St. Petersburg Times Newspaper Coverage
March and April, 2001

After Judge Penick stated in his ruling on the Trial of the Clearwater 13 that the Clearwater Police Force was becoming dangerously close to becoming Scientology's private security force, the local newspaper ran a story and an editorial about Chief Sid Klein's decision to allow his officers to be paid by Scientology.

January, 2001

Two associates of the LMT walked down Watterson Street to peacefully picket Scientology . They were harassed so severely by one of the Clearwater officers, Officer Harbert, that they were frightened and turned back. Bob Minton and Arnie Lerma met them as they returned to the LMT.  When they told Bob what had happened, he angrily confronted the police officers about their harassive behavior, at which point they threatened to arrest him. 

Read Randy Enerson's Affidavit about that incident

Read Tory Bezazian's Affidavit about that incident


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